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It will be good if you write the essence of each paragraph [#permalink]
05 Mar 2004, 14:51
It will be good if you write the essence of each paragraph before dwelling into questions. It will help me in finding faults in my summary.
The Taft-Hartley Act, passed by the United States Congress in 1947, gave states the power to enact ┬б┬░right-to work┬б┬▒ legislation that prohibits union shop agreements. According to such an agreement, a labor union negotiates wages and working conditions for all workers in a business, and all workers are required to belong to the union. Since 1947, 20 states have adopted right-to-work laws. Much of the literature concerning right-to-work laws implies that such legislation has not actually had a significant impact. This point of view, however, has not gone uncriticized. Thomas V Carroll has proposed that the conclusions drawn by previous researchers are attributable to their myopic focus on the premise that, unless right-to-work laws significantly reduce union membership within a state, they have no effect. Carroll argues that the right-to-work laws ┬б┬░do matter┬б┬▒ in that such laws generate differences in real wages across states. Specifically, Carroll indicates that while right-to-work laws may not ┬б┬░destroy┬б┬▒ unions by reducing the absolute number of unionized workers, they do impede the spread of unions and thereby reduce wages within right-to-work states. Because the countervailing power of unions is weakened in right-to-work states, manufacturers and their suppliers can act cohesively in competitive labor markers, thus lowering wages in the affected industries.
Such a finding has important implications regarding the demographics of employment and wages in right-to-work states. Specifically, if right-to-work laws lower wages by weakening union power, minority workers can be expected to suffer a relatively greater economic disadvantage in right-to-work states than in union shop states. This is so because, contrary to what was once thought, on the economic position of minority workers, especially Black workers, relative to White workers. Most studies concerned with the impact of unionism on the Black worker┬б┬пs economic position relative to the White worker┬б┬пs have concentrated on the changes in Black wages due to union versus nonunion wage differentials within certain occupational groups. In a pioneering study, however, Ashenfelter finds that these studies overlook an important fact: although craft unionism increase the differential between the wages of White workers and Black workers due to the traditional exclusion of minority workers from unions in the craft sectors of the labor market, strong positive wage gains are made by Black workers within industrial unions. In fact, Ashenfelter estimates that industrial unionism decreases the differential between the wages of Black workers and White workers by about 3 percent. If state right-to-work laws weaken the economic power of unions to raise wages, Black workers will experience a disproportionate decline in their relative wage positions. Black workers in right-to-work states would therefore experience a decline in their relative economic positions unless there is strong economic growth in right-to-work states, creating labor shortages and thereby driving up wages.
1. The reasoning behind the ┬б┬░literature┬б┬▒(line 9), as that reasoning is presented in the passage, is most analogous to the reasoning behind which one of the following situations?
(A) A law is proposed that benefits many but disadvantages a few: those advocating passage of the law argue that the disadvantages to few are not so serious that the benefits should be denied to many.
(B) A new tax on certain categories of consumer items is proposed: those in favor of the tax argue that those affected by the tax are well able to pay it, since the items taxed are luxury items.
(C) A college sets strict course requirements that every student must complete before graduating; students already enrolled argue that it is unfair for the new requirements to apply to those enrolled before the change.
(D) The personnel office of a company designs a promotions become effective on January 1: the managers protest that such a policy means that they cannot respond fast enough to changes in staffing needs.
(E) A fare increase in a public transportation system does not significantly reduce the number of fares sold: the management of the public transportation system asserts, therefore, that the fare hike has had no negative effects.
2. According to the passage, which one of the following is true of Carroll┬б┬пs study?
(A) It implies that right-to-work laws have had a negligible effect on workers in right-to-work states.
(B) It demonstrates that right-to-work laws have significantly decreased union membership from what it once was in right-to-work states.
(C) It argues that right-to-work laws have affected wages in right-to-work states.
(D) It supports the findings of most earlier researchers.
(E) It explains the mechanisms by which collusion between manufacturers and suppliers is accomplished.
3. It can be inferred from the passage that the author believes which one of following about craft unions?
(A) Craft unions have been successful in ensuring that the wages of their members remain higher than the wages of nonunion workers in the same occupational groups.
(B) The number of minority workers joining craft unions has increased sharply in states that have not adopted right-to-work legislation.
(C) Wages for workers belonging to craft unions have generally risen faster and more steadily than wages for workers belonging to industrial unions.
(D) The wages of workers belonging to craft unions have not been significantly affected by right-to-work legislation, although the wages of workers belonging to industrial unions have been negatively affected.
(E) The wages of workers belonging to craft unions are more likely to be driven up in the event of labor shortages than are the wages of workers belonging to industrial unions.
4. Which one of the following best describes the effect industrial unionism has had on the wages of Black workers relative to those of White workers, as that effect is presented in the passage?
(A) Prior to 1947, industrial unionism had little effect on the wages of Black workers relative to those of White workers: since 1947, it has had a slight positive effect.
(B) Prior to 1947, industrial unionism had a strong positive effect on the wages of Black workers relative to those of White workers: since 1947, it has had little effect.
(C) Prior to 1947, industrial unionism had a negative effect on the wages of Black workers relative to those of White workers: since 1947, it has had a significant positive effect.
(D) Industrial unionism has contributed moderately to an increase in the wage differential between Black workers and White workers.
(E) Industrial unionism has contributed strongly to a 3 percent decrease in the wage differential between Black workers and White workers.
5. According to the passage, which one of the following could counteract the effects of a decrease in unions┬б┬п economic power to raise wages in right-to-work states?
(A) a decease in the number of union shop agreements.
(B) Strong economic growth that crates labor shortages.
(C) A decrease in membership in craft unions.
(D) The merging of large industrial unions.
(E) A decline in the craft sectors of the labor market.
6. Which one of the following best describes the passage as a whole?
(A) an overview of a problem in research methodology and a recommended solution to that problem.
(B) A comparison of two competing theories and a suggestion for reconciling them.
(C) A critique of certain legislation and a proposal for modification of that legislation.
(D) A review of research that challenges the conclusions of earlier researchers.
(E) A presentation of a specific case that confirms the findings of an earlier study.
Re: RC - Any one interested [#permalink]
05 Mar 2004, 17:05
you should strongly consider solving these RC's. I will assure you, you WILL NOT cross 38-40V (if thats your goal) without solving some real good RC's. And all this, under a clock.
See if this helps.
Make it interesting. Clock this RC. Everyone report their time here.
Whoever finishes the fastest will try to explain his/her strategy to the others. That way, you guys can pick up good RC skills from others.
i will leave the implementation of this idea to you guys. We got to be aggressive if a good score is needed. Dont wait. Be the first to start working on this.
Re: It will be good if you write the essence of each paragraph [#permalink]
18 May 2014, 14:36
1. (E) As if it weren’t bad enough that the section begins with a tough passage, the passage begins with one of the toughest question types, akin to Parallel Reasoning in the LR sections. On top of that, to get the answer, you have to reread a lot of context: Though the question stem’s “literature” is mentioned at line 9, it’s not described until lines 13-17, by the critic of that literature, Mr. Carroll. He says that the researchers believe the right-to-work laws have minimal impact because they have simply looked at whether the laws have decreased union membership and said, “Hey, they haven’t, so there’s no impact.” In the same way, (E)’s transit system asserts that a fare hike has had no negative effects simply because ridership hasn’t decreased. In both cases, a look at sheer numbers prompts a hasty conclusion that may not be supported by other relevant data. (A)’s conclusion weighs benefits and disadvantages and states one side’s argument for why a law should be passed. That’s a recommendation, not at all similar to the value judgment regarding the impact of right-to-work laws found in lines 9-17. B) includes evidence that amounts to a value judgment (“The well-off can afford the tax”) but, similar to (A), concludes with a strongly implied recommendation suggested by the proponents: The tax should be passed. It doesn’t conclude that “X has had no impact”— which is what we need. (C) The students pre- and post-curriculum change might seem to parallel the workers pre- and post- right-to-work laws. But nothing in lines 9-17 has a parallel to (C)’s charge of unfair treatment. (C) would work better if it went like so: “Since there are as many students since the curriculum change as there were before, the change has had no effect on the student body.” (D), far from concluding that a phenomenon (the new policy) has had no effect, concludes that its effect has been major. 2. (C) “This point of view has not gone uncriticized. Thomas M. Carroll...” These sentences link Carroll to the controversial point of view in lines 9-11. Carroll takes exception, as (C) says, to the idea that right-to-work laws haven’t had an impact on wages. The rest of the ¶ goes on to elaborate how Carroll believes that the laws weaken unions and encourage manufacturer/supplier collusion. (A) Au contraire, this is the viewpoint Carroll rebuts. (B) Carroll’s study does see right-to-work laws as an impediment to unions, but we’re explicitly told (lines 21-23) that such laws do not reduce union membership. (D) Carroll’s study does not support, but rather criticizes, earlier research. (E) Carroll acknowledges that there’s an opportunity for collusion, but that’s all; we never hear about the mechanics of doing so. 3. (A) Craft unions are mentioned once and once only: as part of the “important fact,” cited by Ashenfelter, that minorities have been traditionally excluded from membership in such unions and that therefore craft unionism increases the gap between Black and White wages. (A) paraphrases this idea that, through craft unions, more money is earned by members (largely White) than non-members (most Blacks). (B) Nothing is said about increased membership in craft unions. If anything, the exclusion of a large number of workers would tend to depress the total. (C) is a distortion of the comparison between craft and industrial unions. Yes, the latter have more minority members and tend to reduce the Black/White wage differential, but we never learn anything about the rate at which wages rise in different unions. (D) We are told that right-to-work laws have a negative effect on wages of industrial workers, but we can infer that they would also affect the wages of craft union members who, as Ashenfelter reports, are mostly white. (E) misinterprets the point made at the end of ¶2 (which is rather far removed from the craft union reference). We know that a healthy economy can create a demand for workers and raise their wages. But there’s no way to tell from the info given which group—craft or industrial—would be more likely to experience wage increases under these circumstances. For all we know, the increase in wages brought on by labor shortages applies only to the industrial sector. 4. (E) This one follows up on Q. 3, because right after the author polishes off craft unions (line 54), he cites the more favorable situation in industrial unions, where Black workers have made wage gains. Correct choice (E) is, in fact, lines 55-58 almost verbatim. It’s Ashenfelter’s estimate, yes, but cited approvingly as if as fact by our author. (A), (B), (C) All of the “Prior to 1947”’s relate to the situation prior to the Taft-Hartley Act. But that appears in ¶1, long before industrial unions take center stage in this passage! Industrial unions are never explicitly related to the pre-right-to-work era, so none of these statements is remotely inferable. (D) Au contraire! (D) directly contradicts lines 55-58 as well as correct choice (E).
5. (B) The question assumes a “Yes” answer as to whether right-to-work weakens unions, and goes on to speculate about a counteracting force. The only place that that comes up is in the last sentence, where we learn that a possible exception would be a right-to-work state where the economy is booming. In such a case a demand for labor might drive wages up. (A) makes no sense. Decreasing the number of union shop agreements would most likely decrease the economic power of unions even more. (C), (E) Craft unions come up in the discussion of race-related wage differentials, but we cannot infer that either a decrease in craft union membership (C) or their decline in the labor market (E) would counteract the decrease of unions’ overall economic power in right- to-work states. (D) The idea of merging unions, whether weak or strong ones, is never mentioned, so we have no idea whether a merger would make any difference. • Think about where a question’s source in the passage is likely to be. Re-read that source, and pre-phrase an answer, before proceeding to the choices. 6. (D) This one should be manageable if you recognize the ¶ structure as we described it above. Carroll and Ashenfelter, each in his own sphere, take on misguided thinking about right- to-work laws, and the author merely gives them a forum to do so. So (D)’s “review of research that challenges earlier research” is the closest to the mark. (A) loses sight of the key question at the heart of the passage: Have right-to-work laws hurt workers? (A) ignores that question, and makes it sound as if the only issue is how to conduct research. (B) There are two pairs of competing ideas that take center stage here: the view that right- to-work has had no impact, vs. Carroll; and the tactic of comparing union workers to non- union ones, vs. Ashenfelter. And to “reconcile” means to bring together, whereas our author seems to, overall, favor the two researchers mentioned. (C) The passage could be said to “critique” right-to-work laws in the sense that such laws depress wages, and disproportionately so for minorities. So (C) could be considered half- right, but its latter half is dead wrong. The author shows no interest in exploring or influencing future change. (E) No one “specific case” is cited. Yes, Ashenfelter is credited with a specific comparison between craft and industrial unions, but that’s buried in lines 47-58 and doesn’t deserve global prominence. Furthermore, far from confirming earlier studies, Carroll rebuts the interpretation of the previous “literature” of right-to-work laws, as it’s so called. • When answer choices (like these) are highly abstract, be sure to pre-phrase an answer first, and then go on to treat the language in the choices concretely— otherwise they’ll all sound good.
Re: It will be good if you write the essence of each paragraph
18 May 2014, 14:36